Invisible to the naked eye, our bodies play host to millions of micro-organisms. Optimal skin conditions depend on the probiotic bacteria or microbes that live on our bodies. Our skin’s biome is shaped by our natural environment, and what we put on and next to our skin has a direct impact on our bodies. Cosmetic products and fabric finishes on clothing can contain toxic chemicals, which disrupt the diversity of bacteria living on our skin.
‘Skin II’, in collaboration with microbiologist Dr. Callewaert, explores the benefits of encapsulating probiotic bacteria into the fibres of clothing. These are activated when they come into contact with the moisture on our skin, allowing them to dominate other less beneficial bacteria. For optimal results, the probiotics are strategically placed in key areas where you would normally sweat. The encapsulated bacteria are associated with reduced body odour, encouraging cell renewal, and improving the skin’s immune system. This project not only replaces the need for chemical fabric finishes, but also reduces the need to wash your clothes as frequently. Skin II aims to use what is natural on our bodies to advance the performance of clothing.
Rosie Broadhead weaves bacteria into clothing fibres to create a second skin (Article)
Chris Callewaert, Microbiologist